beta system

Introduction

This system was written by Gwen in December 2013. It is a simple and streamlined system designed to allow the maximum focus on roleplay, using the crunchy bits (stats, rolls, etc.) as a skeleton while keeping them firmly in the backseat. Ideally it ensures that under no circumstances, gameplay will become bogged down in needless mechanical squabbles and long chains of rolls.


Dice in the System

In keeping with the promise of simplicity, this system uses one die, the d20, to determine everything. A d20 is rolled to determine:

  • How well a task is accomplished.
  • How successful a offensive action is.
  • How successful a defensive action is.
  • How bad a wound or injury is.

There are no modifiers added to a d20 roll in this system, something which will make sense further down this page. A result of a one (1) is an automatic failure, except in the case of a combat initiative roll. Numbers from two (2) and above can be considered successful. The higher the number, the greater the success. The following scale is a good guideline for measuring an action's success based on a roll:

d20 Result Level of Success
2-5 Barely Successful
6-10 Adequately Successful
11-15 Fairly Successful
16-20 Extremely Successful

Once a roll is carried out, players should use it as a starting point for their roleplay. If a roll indicates that an action barely went they wanted it to, they should play off of that.

NOTE: In this system dice are not to be used in SOFT RP1. Rolls are reserved for GM run plot. In Soft RP assume that actions always succeed. It is, however, up to the player to roleplay in a way that creates good story. Sure, all of your actions can go perfectly but that is both tiresome and bad roleplay. Your characters are humans…like you and I, and they will fuck up.

Rolling a One (Botches)

In RW when the dice bot serves up a 1 on a d20 roll, the action tied to the roll automatically fails. This is called a botch. The final result does not matter, it is still an auto-fail.

Re-rolls

Because we are using a dice bot in RW, each player gets one Luck Reroll of the Day (tm) per session. Use this wisely!


Character Mechanics

This section covers everything that goes on the character sheet of a character in this RP. It is divided into three sections. In the first section who your character is is discussed. In the second section the basics are covered, things like how smart and strong your character is as well as how good they are at fighting and lock-picking. In the final section, some of the more thematic stuff is discussed.

0. The Concept

This is who or what your character is. It's one sentence that establishes what you want to play. This is massively important. In one sentence tell us what you are playing.


1. The Crunch

This section covers the nitty-gritty numbers behind your character - your character's Attributes. These numbers provide an excellent skeleton on which your character can be built, but in this system they are virtually meaningless otherwise. The numbers on your character sheet show you what your character can do. It is up to you to make what your character can do cool and good for the story being told. To be frank…this part is the least important part of your character as it has the least impact on the story as a whole. There are exactly four numbers on your sheet…these are your stats.

The stats are:

Force: This stat covers the application of force, usually through strength or other direct action.
Grace: This stat covers speed and agility, and is most useful for going around problems.
Wits: This is the arena of cunning and guile. It's useful for studying a problem and finding the right solution.
Resolve: This covers issues of patience and endurance. Sometimes you can just ride out a problem. This can hurt a lot, and bring a lot of problems, but there are benefits to being the last man standing.

Stats and Combat

By way of illustration, consider how each of these stats might be used by a fighty type:

  • A character who favours Force may lean towards heavier weapons. His blows are precise and powerful, and he looks to end the fight in the most direct fashion possible.
  • A character who favours Grace will stay in constant motion, looking for opportunities and waiting for a chance to strike.
  • A character who favours Wits will make careful study of his opponent, come to understand the patterns of his attacks and defences, and exploit the weaknesses that are present.
  • A character who favours Resolve would fight defensively, wearing his opponent down, and waiting until they make a mistake.

In short, there is no “combat stat,” just different ways to approach combat.

Stats and Social Roleplay

As another example, the same thinking applies equally easily to a character attempting to influence NPCs:

  • A character who favours Force applies their strong presence to get things done. Intimidation and inspiration are all part of the game.
  • A character who favours Grace is in the right place at the right time, and allows insults and confusion to slide smoothly off their gracious exterior.
  • A character who favours Wits uses their knowledge and understanding of others like a blade — either scalpel or stiletto, based on their inclinations.
  • A character who favours Resolve is blessed with the greatest of gifts: patience. The ability to keep a level head, and even temperament and an absolutely unyielding position can go a long way.
Stat Rankings

Stats begin with a ranking of 0. There are fifteen ranks which can be purchased at character creation at a 1:1 ratio. Below is a few guidelines as to what the ranks mean:

  • A rank of 1 indicates someone of no note.
  • A rank of 2 this is average.
  • A rank of 3 indicates a talented individual, one who could make a good living in a related pursuit.
  • A rank of 5 represents the best level of skill found in the setting.
  • A rank of 6 is worthy of spawning legends and myths in the typical shadow world.
  • A rank of 8 is remarkable and very uncommon.
  • A rank of 10 is transcendent. This is among the best of the best.

Stat ranking is increased by asking a GM for permission and providing examples of how your character has improved in a given stat.


2. The Fluff

This section covers the information on your character sheet that is more thematic. This section isn't about numbers. It's about what makes your character more than just numbers on a sheet, it's about making your character unique. It covers little shticks your character has, deep-seated flaws your character hides, and the magical powers that they possess. This section of your character is a lot more freeform…there are lot less restrictions. It is important to remember that power isn't everything.

Gifts

Gifts are a representation of character enhancements and special schticks possessed by your character. They are everything from a theoretically impossible ability to avoid death, to a representation of your character's above average wealth. Gifts are fairly open ended, but are subject to GM approval. They do not need to be super detailed, but remember, these are what your character does in the RP…so make them good!

You enter play with 6 Gifts. To gain more gifts, you must get GM approval and provide justification for each one.

Gifts can be 'bid' to automatically succeed as if you rolled a 20 on one (1) roll. You maybe only 'bid' each trait once per session, unless the GM says otherwise.

Augments

This RP is set in the future! Which means people can have all sorts of augments. Do you want new eyes that can zoom in on people changing at the beach the person you are spying on? You can have them! Do you want a claw for a hand? It's your's! Do you want to be able to plug your nose into computers and use your snot to hack them? That's just gross. Seriously though, you can have any augment you (providing the GM has approved it). Augments, like traits, can be used to auto-succeed on a tasked related to the function of you augment. All characters with augment have an additional flaw:

  • Sensitivity to Electromagnetic Attacks: The function of augmentations are disrupted when exposed to a sudden burst of electro-magnetic energy. Augments shut down for 1d4-1 (with the lowest result being 1) minutes as a result of EM interference.

Flaws

All characters gain a supernatural Flaw that can hinder them in their day to day work. Flaws must be something that can come up during plot, and GMs might award additional flaws based on character actions. A character can have up to 5 flaws.


Combat Mechanics

Combat in this system is turn-based, and follows a set series of steps:

  1. Initiative: Every character in the combat rolls 1d20. In the event of a tie, the character with the highest Grace rank goes first. If that does not break the tie there will be a re-roll. A roll of one (1) results in that character going last in the initiative.
  2. Combat: Each combatant, starting with the one who got the highest Initiative roll, acts in turn until combat ends.

Combat is in essence about description and making an epic scene. It is divided into three parts, which are outlined below:

  1. Declaration of Intent: At the beginning of a turn, a player describes his character's intention. For example: "Mike takes aim at the hired goon's head and fires a shot intent on seriously harming the man."
  2. Rolling: Both the attacker and defender roll 1d20 to determine the degree of success of their actions (presumably attacking and defending from the attack).
  3. Description of Action: Based on the aforementioned rolls, the GM (and potentially the player) describes the result of his characters action. For example: "The hired goon's head explodes in a crimson cloud shaped vaguely like Australia."

Combat continues for as long as it needs to.

"I am dead, Horatio - Wretched queen, adieu!" (Dealing with Character Injury)

It does not take a member of Mensa to realize that this system does not define any sort of health levels…which is okay…because it makes for a much faster combat overall…

Calm down, calm down. The lack of HP in an RPG…I know…insane. But it isn't. As with everything else in this system, the health system is based on RP and it's based on collective story telling. In short, it is up for the players to play along when their character gets wounded. Don't be over dramatic about it, but go with it…not every character is going to get through every combat untouched. Tell the story, share your characters reaction to getting shot by the hired goon or stabbed by the Spikeomancer.

For those dependant on mechanics, fear not, for there is a mechanic for this. Your character's Resolve should be a basis for how much damage they can take. The higher the Resolve, the more the character can resist injury.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License